June 5 is World Environment Day, a UN initiative to raise awareness about the need to take care of the planet. BBVA will illuminate some of its most emblematic buildings in green as a gesture to signify its commitment to this cause.
This year, the theme of World Environment Day will be connecting people with nature. The United Nations invites everyone to get out and think about nature’s role in the people’s lives and how much everyone’s future depends on it. Each year, a country is chosen to host the official celebrations; this year, it was Canada’s turn.
BBVA will join the celebrations by lighting up some of its flagship buildings, including the La Vela high-rise in its new BBVA City headquarters in Madrid, BBVA’s offices in Lima, Peru or the recently opened BBVA Headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This gesture aims to give visibility to the company’s commitment to the planet, which has materialized in a great variety of initiatives.
BBVA Headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A policy in favor of the planet’s health
BBVA’s environmental commitment is reflected in its worldwide environmental policy, which is the reference for all the environment-related actions that the company carries out. The group’s environmental goals are established in the Global Eco-efficiency Plan (GEP).
The second GEP, launched in 2015, exceeded all goals. In 2016, a new plan was rolled out, which will extend through 2020, establishing the goals for the period in question. The purpose of this new plan is to establish BBVA among the world’s leading institutions in eco-efficiency in the following areas:
- Sustainable construction: 42% of the workforce should work in environmentally certified buildings.
- Energy and climate change: Reducing energy consumption by 5% and per person CO2e emissions by 8%. The purpose is to ensure that 48% of the energy used comes from renewable sources.
- Water: A 5% reduction in consumption per person and provision of alternative water sources for 9% of workers in buildings.
- Paper and waste: Cut paper consumption per person by 5%. Have 30% of employees working in buildings with selective waste collection.
- Conduct awareness raising campaigns among employees and suppliers.
This commitment has led the bank to sign the most relevant international environmental agreements, such as: The United Nation Environment Program - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Ecuador Principles, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Global Compact, the Green Bond Principles and the CDP.
In Spain, BBVA is part of the Spanish Group for Green Growth and has endorsed several initiatives set out to fight climate change, such as the directives of the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR), the Alliance of Energy Efficiency Financing Institutions and the Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative of the European Mortgage Federation.
BBVA’s offices in Lima.
Bonds for sustainable projects
In 2016, BBVA strengthened its position as the most active financial institution in Spain in the green bond market, taking part in the most important bond issues in the country, totaling €5.35 billion.
The bank acted as Lead Manager in Acciona Green Bond Lead Private Placement, Iberdrola Third Green Bond, EDF 2026 Green Bond, Mexico City Airport, Nacional Financiera, the Spanish Official Credit Institute’s Second Social Bond and Caja Rural de Navarra Sustainable Covered Bond.
The prospects for 2017 are good, with the total volume of green bond issues expected to close the year somewhere between €120 and €150 billion.
Also, BBVA has pledged €4.44 billion to fund renewable energy operations to offer opportunities linked to achieving a more sustainable environment.
Lights out for the environment
BBVA has been endorsing the “Earth Hour” for a number of years. On the last Saturday of March, individuals, communities, and businesses are encouraged to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., to join the initiative. In the latest edition, BBVA turned off the lights in 117 buildings, 330 offices of the Group in 177 cities across the world, including landmark buildings such as BBVA City in Madrid or the BBVA Bancomer Tower in Mexico City.